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Stress-Free Living

Aromatherapy: Detox Your Environment

You’ve just finished a hectic holiday season: shopping, wrapping, cooking, entertaining, partying. It’s time to detox from all the craziness by providing yourself with a soothing environment. Aromatherapy is the simplest way to do this. It’s a time-honored tool for restoring mental and emotional balance. You can use fragrant essential oils in a diffuser or topically (on your skin). If you do decide to use it topically, you need to dilute the essential oil with a “carrier oil” such as almond. Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle. You can also buy a high-quality candle with the aroma you love and simply inhale it, or use a room spray with a calming scent.  Or you might want to get an aromatherapy massage, which adds essential oils to the regular oil or lotion used in the massage.

Here are several oils that are proven relaxants:

Bergamot, a citrus fruit, is recognized for its calming effects. Use it in a diffuser or fragrance reeds. Diluted, it can also work as a deodorant. It’s also commonly used as a main ingredient in Earl Grey tea. Have a cup and be enveloped in its relaxing aromaChamomile is for dispelling anger. It clears the mind and brings stability to emotions. Drink it, diffuse it, or inhale it. It all works.

Frankincense is popular at Christmas, but it’s useful year round. A 2008 study howed that frankincense has properties that lower anxiety and depressive behavior. It’s also been historically used during prayer and meditation for its calming effect. No wonder it’s been used since ancient times during prayer and meditation.

Neroli  Also known as orange blossom, is distilled from the blossoms of the bitter orange tree. Its aroma promotes confidence, peace, and sensuality. Apply it topically or diffuse.

Lavender is the most well known of the relaxing essential oils. Lavender has the amazing ability to calm you down while at the same time making you more alert. How many sedatives can make that claim? The beauty of lavender is it works equally well on everyone. Apply it topically or inhale it. Many people mix it with water and spray a little on their pillow before they go to sleep at night.